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Discussion Starter #1
My firearm is a .357 LCR loaded with 158 grain hollow point .357 rounds. I am well aware of the recoil issues with any 2 inch revolver firing .357 and would surely step down to .38 rounds for range/practice. However in assessing the weapon/ammunition for self defense purposes I think it's vital to put the firearm and ammo in the perspective it is intended to match, that of an actual self defense use in the field.

So I consider these factors:

1. Concealability/ease of access: The LCR is about as good as it gets for these factors. I have been in a number of dicey street encounters and known m an y police officers who had as well and the common thread is that most self defense situations for civilian and officers alike happen RIGHT NOW with perhaps one of two seconds of warning. Hence I want a weapon that I can get to and immediately fire if necessary.

2. Ammunition: I want rounds that do three things in a self defense scenario. I want them to have hard stopping power, mushroom on impact to reduce the chances of penetration and harm to the innocent and make a really big bang to intimidate everyone and hopefully drive bystanders to the floor. Recoil does not matter here; having known a number of police officers who fired in self defense through the years I know that few of them even knew how many rounds they had fired until the counted the empty hulls later, and all reported intensely focused tunnel vision and hearing where recoil was hardly felt at all.

So what I want for the range may be 180 degrees different from what I want in case of a sudden self defense scenario. It's really pretty simple: access, power, noise, as much safety as I can include in the scenario for others. That is also why I think CCW holders should have one carry weapon, carried in one place as much as possible, to make its use as close to instinct as possible.
 

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Hello and welcome! Your points sound logical, but the only thing I do after shooting range or practice ammo for target, is make sure I run at least one full load of my carry ammo through my gun. I do this so that my mind and muscle memory last remembers what I would be shooting, if caught in a self defense situation.
 

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Two excellent posts.
Can't disagree with anything.
Thanks!
 

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My biggest problem with 357 mag loads in short barrel revolvers is not recoil or cost. It's low light conditions and the follow-up shot. When I crank off a magnum round in low light conditions it gives off a heck of a fire ball and sometimes temporarily blinds me or leave a dark spot in my line of sight. That make my second shot a bit more difficult.

I train with 38 special, 38 special +P, and 357 Magnum. I prefer to carry Remington Golden Sabre 38 special +P for its effective power with lower recoil and flash. I do like the option of sticking in some 357 magnums if needed....still one of the best man-stoppers period.
 

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go to the range and practice with your .357 LCR at 3, 5, 7 yds.
can you shoot repeatable results from round one to round five?
can you put the bullets in a paper plate at those distances, shooting from the hip, point shooting, sighted shooting?
(most bystanders don't drop, they freeze. who cares? your only shooting to save your life.)
if you can't bs your way out of a jam or run away, then it's down to having to use the tool.
(oh, here's one for ya, your at the ATM and the bad guy jumps up on your right side and puts his gun in your side. how do you draw? got 2 guns? can you work from the left?)
lots of stuff to think about, hmmm?
 

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Out of curiosity, since it is about a two inch barrel, why carry the 158s in
place of the 125s?

Second: I suggest you learn point shooting. With a two inch .357, as noted
above, the fury you would be unleashing would preclude follow-up shots
unless you use point shooting, with the possible exception of full sunshine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes I plan to scale back to 125 grains, and yes I have been schooled and practiced in point shooting. Another lesson I learned through the years is that the vast majority of self defense encounters take place with a separation of not much more beyond 6-8 feet.
 

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I want my CCW weapon to be something I WILL carry, not something that fulfills a particular metric, be that the Hatcher Scale or any other power factor. This corresponds to the first rule of being in a gunfight being to have a gun.
The experience of others may vary, and I've read people in this forum who carry a GP-100 or an SP-101. If I could and would carry something like that, I'd just go with my S&W 625 Mountain Gun in .45 ACP. Not going to happen, I can't even tolerate an all-steel J-frame, it's all about the weight. I've got the original LCR in .38 Special +P for CCW, and am very pleased with it.
 

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Everyone has their reason to carry just as they have their carry requirements about gun size, weight, or ammo. Think you gotta do what works for you. Remember: your carry gun should be comforting not comfortable.
 

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To the OP I suggest you look at some Buffalo Bore .38 Special +p & regular pressure loads. There is a load I like its a gas checked lead semi wad cutter HP this is a very good load and there is a reduced load that works better for short barreled guns. There has been some articles wrote stating that you don't really gain that much knock down power in a .357 over a .38 Special in a short barreled snub type of revolver. Plus much easier on your hand!!!
 

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I have LCR357 and LCRx, when carrying either, i usually carry Critical Defense .38+P because the muzzle blast from a .357 round, especially if fired inside a building would be horrendous. In a place such as a public restroom any shot would be loud, but a .357 from a 1 7/8 in. barrel would be over the top and a .38 +P is quite effective at close range.
 

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Yes I plan to scale back to 125 grains, and yes I have been schooled and practiced in point shooting. Another lesson I learned through the years is that the vast majority of self defense encounters take place with a separation of not much more beyond 6-8 feet.
Point shooting skills are always a good idea. A lot of us forget that most EDC's, be they snubby revolvers or micro autos, are not target guns. Knocking out the X ring isn't nearly as important as shots capable of stopping the threat under stress.
 
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What do I want my CCW to do for me? Get me out of a dangerous situation to somewhere safe to call someone to come and do their job. Whether that be through use, display, it's there to give me the edge to stop the threat presented and get me out. It's not a duty weapon, and won't be used as such. Because of that, I'm plenty good with my Ruger LCR9, and it serves duty as my BUG on duty to do the same thing if I were to ever need it.
 

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Good thread. Solid reasons and thought provoking. It caused me to step back and re-think the reasons I've selected my carry guns and if in fact they meet MY criteria:

1) Reliable - I can trust it to fire and cycle every time I need it to
2) Powerful - 9mm or better
3) Concealable - I can carry without printing and drawing unwanted attention
4) Comfortable - realistic criteria to ensure I'm really going to carry every day (no good at home in safe)
5) Shootable - if I can't hit POA or point shoot with high degree of comfort (not worth carrying if I can't hit what I intend to shoot)

I've settled on SR9c in N82 when I can and LC9s in a leather IWB when I need to be more discreet or carry longer. Generally +P hollow point defensive rounds. Works for me.
 
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